Another weekend of Premier League action saw champions Manchester City stunned by the counter-attacking prowess of Wolves’ flying forwards, whilst Tottenham and Manchester United endured new lows as their difficult starts to the new season continues.
Elsewhere, Liverpool continued their perfect start to move eight points clear at the top, and a pair of 19-year-old debutants shone on their first top-flight starts.
Here, in a 3-5-2 formation, is The Football Faithful‘s Team of the Week…
Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson – Sheffield United
What a difference a week makes.
It was the goalkeeper’s howler that consigned his side to defeat against Liverpool last time out, however, the on-loan shot-stopper returned to form to earn his side a valuable point at Watford this weekend.
Henderson’s brilliant one-on-one stop from Danny Welbeck kept the score goalless, before he acrobatically turned Craig Dawson’s header away later in the contest. The 22-year-old’s clean sheet helped to secure a goalless draw, as Sheffield United’s solid return to the top flight continued.
Centre-back: Lewis Dunk – Brighton
Brighton were brilliant in their defeat of a hapless Tottenham side on Sunday, thrashing Mauricio Pochettino’s struggling side 3-0 a the Amex Stadium. Teenage forward Aaron Connolly may have taken most of the plaudits, though their win was built on a solid foundation.
Brighton captain Dunk shackled Harry Kane throughout the contest, whilst it was the defender’s fine long ball forward which found Connolly to score Brighton’s third. Capped once for England against the USA last year, Dunk will have to perform to this level consistently to earn a potential recall.
Centre-back: David Luiz – Arsenal
It’s been a difficult start to life in North London for the eccentric Brazilian defender, though he delivered his first goal for Arsenal in timely fashion to earn a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth this weekend.
The veteran defender met Nicolas Pepe’s early corner to score the only goal of the game, however, more importantly he played his role in just the club’s second clean sheet of the Premier League season as Arsenal rose to third.
— The Arsenal (@davidhickman14) October 6, 2019
Centre-back: Willy Boly – Wolves
There were a whole host of candidates for a place in our side after what was a superb defensive performance from Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, who’s organisation and desire helped Wolves earn a stunning upset win at Manchester City.
We’ve opted for towering Frenchman Boly for a place in our line-up, with the defender at the heart of their solidity and making more clearances than any other player.
Boly’s performance, alongside the likes of Conor Coady and early substitute Ryan Bennett, provided the platform for the club’s counter-attacking success at the Etihad as Wolves earned back-to-back league wins in impressive style.
Midfield: Matty Longstaff – Newcastle
What a moment for the Longstaff family, who saw 19-year-old Matty enjoy a dream debut for Newcastle by firing home the only goal of the game to secure a precious three points against Manchester United.
Partnering older brother Sean in midfield, the youngster was tenacious on his debut for his boyhood club, covering more distance than any other player, not to mention his fine match-winning strike.
Newcastle have endured a difficult start to the season, with the fans having been vocal in their discontent at life under owner Mike Ashley and the unpopular appointment of Steve Bruce as manager.
Seeing one of their own thrive alongside his brother under the lights of St James’ Park, however, may just lift spirits in the North East.
How to make your Premier League debut, by Matty Longstaff ?pic.twitter.com/3lU9gTvF2L
— Goal (@goal) October 7, 2019
Midfield: James Milner – Liverpool
The veteran midfielder has had to make do with limited starts in the opening weeks of the season, though one of Jurgen Klopp’s most reliable performers was in from the start for the difficult looking clash with in-form Leicester this weekend.
Milner provided a timely reminder of why his experience and industry can be so crucial to Liverpool’s title charge, first providing the assist for Sadio Mane’s opener with a superb long pass before keeping his cool when it mattered most.
Handed a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Milner calmly fired home to seal Liverpool’s eighth successive win of the season as they opened up an eight-point gap at the top.
Midfield: Jack Grealish – Aston Villa
The heartbeat of an impressive Aston Villa win at Carrow Road, Dean Smith’s side were in rampant mood as they thrashed fellow top-flight new boys Norwich 5-1.
Villa captain Grealish was central to the club’s best moments in the convincing win, whilst the 24-year-old also registered his first Premier League goal since the club’s return to English football’s top tier.
There has been tentative talk of a senior England call-up for the talented midfielder, though he will have to show he can continue to dictate and influence games consistently to earn the attention of Gareth Southgate.
Right-wing: Adama Traore – Wolves
Wolves’ flying machine was the match-winner in their shock win at Manchester City, the winger’s late brace remarkably his first goals since September 2018.
For all of Traore’s undoubted qualities, his end product has often been his downfall, but he showed that he possesses the ability to be a difference-maker with two well-taken finishes at the Etihad.
The 23-year-old’s blistering pace and athleticism were brilliantly used by boss Nuno Espirito Santo, first utilised at wing-back to nullify the threat of Raheem Sterling before being placed further forward to devastating effect.
Racing through twice as Wolves’ counter-attacking game plan worked to perfection, Traore kept his cool on both occasions to seal a memorable win.
Left-wing: Sadio Mane – Liverpool
The Senegalese forward has been in sensational form for Liverpool so far this season, and was once again the club’s bright spark as they snatched a late victory against Leicester at Anfield.
The 27-year-old fired his side in front from James Milner’s long through-ball, racing clear of Jonny Evans before cooly slotting home for his 50th Premier League goal in just 100 appearances for the club.
Mane would later, albeit somewhat controversially, win the stoppage-time penalty which handed Liverpool victory, his influence once again proving crucial to his side’s flying start to the season.
50 – Sadio Mane has scored his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool. He's the 10th player to reach the milestone for the club in the competition, more than any other side. Nifty. pic.twitter.com/XvpojW5a9v
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 5, 2019
Forward: Raul Jimenez – Wolves
The likes of Chelsea‘s Tammy Abraham and Aston Villa’s Welsey may feel hard done by not to make the cut this week, but Wolves’ Raul Jimenez earns his place in our team following his crucial role in the club’s shock win at Manchester City.
Leading the line in impressive fashion, the Mexican forward’s hold-up play was essential to bringing his side into the contest, with the 28-year-old proving a nightmare for the champion’s makeshift backline.
His surging run and piece of skill to leave the hapless Nicolas Otamendi stranded allowed Adama Traore to put Wolves ahead, before his outside of the boot pass sent his teammate racing away once more to seal the win.
Two assists for the influential forward, and Wolves look back to last season’s best.
How to counter attack, featuring Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez ⚡️pic.twitter.com/oGCjwCUaCQ
— Goal (@goal) October 7, 2019
Forward: Aaron Connolly – Brighton
The second teenager to make our team, Brighton forward Aaron Connolly marked his first league start for the club with a double to down Tottenham on Saturday.
The 19-year-old tormented Mauricio Pochettino’s backline, his relentless work-rate and running in behind causing endless problems for the experienced Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) October 5, 2019
Connolly’s two goals were deserved reward for his electric performance, the youngster becoming the first Irish teenager to net a Premier League brace since Robbie Keane in 1999.
His performance has been rewarded with a promotion to the senior Ireland squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland.
Brimming with confidence, he could now take his match-winning exploits onto the international stage.